The Guardian, 11 February 2010
Tim Ashley
Kaufmann/Deutsch: Schubert: Die Schöne Müllerin
***** 5 stars out of 5
Unusually for a lieder album, Jonas Kaufmann and Helmut Deutsch's harrowing version of Die Schöne Müllerin was taped live, at a single concert, last year. Given the exposing nature, both technical and emotional, of the work itself, few recent recording projects have run quite such extraordinary risks or conveyed quite so remarkably the tension and glory of a live performance. It is one of the greatest accounts of Die Schöne Müllerin on disc, though it might faze some. It's big in scale: Kaufmann's soft singing is exquisite, but his voice isn't small and there are moments when he and Deutsch really let rip in their quest for expressive veracity. Interpretatively, it's fairly straightforward: Deutsch's playing has an unsentimental, expressionist edge; Kaufmann, however, is having none of the modish psychoanalytic approach that sees Schubert's Miller as deluded from the outset, presenting us instead with an un-neurotic examination of love and loss, in which the terrible emotions of the second half seem all the more excruciating after the optimism of the start. Not for the faint-hearted, but highly recommended.

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